Pharm.D Résumé Writing – From Good to Great

pharmacy-symbol  The Pharm.D program at UConn is highly competitive, requiring strong analytical abilities, good communication, and scientific knowledge. In the process of learning about becoming a pharmacist, students must also prepare for internships, fellowships, and beyond. So where to start…how to distinguish yourself as the candidate of choice when many of you are taking the same courses, serving on the same clubs, and working in similar environments? The answer is how you apply yourself in each setting and then, how you articulate it on your résumé. Your résumé is your running commentary of your accomplishments, highlighting specific skills that are suited to each experience you are considering. Strong bullet statements can showcase you as a mutual fit for that internship, research, or other post-graduation experience.

To demonstrate how résumé bullets can be customized for different experiences, as well as how to develop it from an initial effort to one you want an employer to see, keep reading to see how to make a résumé bullet go from good to better to great. I have indicated a situation where a P2 student is looking for a pharmacy internship; the bullets evolve for both experiences An objective is written so the bullets can be guided by the intention of the document, followed by an Experience section.

pharmacist-interaction  Scenario: P2 student with prior work experience as both a cashier and in an office, looking for a retail internship next summer: Objective: A summer pharmacy internship in a retail establishment demonstrating excellent customer service, as well as strong problem solving and organizational skills Related Experience:

(From the Sales Associate role at a department store)

  • Good bullet: Greeted customers in a friendly manner and talked about products purchased
  • Better bullet: Communicated with customers about product selection and merchandise costs, informing individuals about possible promotions and sales, which increased overall store revenue
  • Great bullet: Listened to customer concerns and responded to questions about store products in a thorough and knowledgeable manner, resulting in repeat business and increased store revenue

(From the Office role at a small business)

  • Good bullet:  Conversed with clients and answered the telephone, directing calls to appropriate staff for proper resolution
  • Better bullet:  Demonstrated confidentiality and professionalism with paperwork and clients while filing documents for three partners in a small accounting firm
  • Great bullet: Interacted with clients and three accountants in a small firm, filed and organized paperwork and old records with a spreadsheet database system utilized within the industry

You will see the progression of the bullets, each one slowly showing a stronger connection to the objective than the previous statement. Start documenting your experiences and get something on the page, so you have a place holder for what you did within each experience. Create the better and great bullets after you identify the purpose for a specific résumé, making sure you adapt the language each time.

To get started, follow the idea of What, How, and Why. List out What you did (identify the tasks), How you did it (note what skills used and if any are transferable), and Why you did it (what was the end result…keep playing with this aspect of the bullet statement to evolve from what was important to the prior experience to what could be important to the future experience).

Ready for someone to review your résumé and help you bring your bullets from Good to Great? Call the Center for Career Development at 860-486-3013 or stop by the office in WC 202, to schedule a résumé critique.

(Photo credits: en.wikipedia.org; www.bls.gov)

By Beth Settje